Just as every other market and industry, India's floriculture exports, too, have been dealt a major blow by the novel coronavirus. And now with a massive fall in exports and double freight charges, flowers in the domestic market are also going to cost a bit more than usual.
Supplies to Europe and the United Kingdom, the major markets for the Indian roses during Valentine's week, remain defunct due to the contagion and flower producers are compelled to heavily rely on domestic consumers.
According to a report by Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, India's total export of floriculture for the year 2019-20, just before pandemic struck the world, stood at a whopping Rs. 541.61 Crores/75.89 USD Millions.
However, flower growers say international demand for India's flowers has come down to 30-40 percent of what it was last year. Since the lockdown is still in place in many countries and international flights remain suspended, only a fraction of exports are taking place to countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai.
"There are no exports taking place to Europe, our main market, due to the Covid lockdown,” Shrikant Bollapally, President of Growers Flower Council of India told Business Line.
Not just that, with many schools and colleges remaining shut for the most of 2020, subdued weddings, Christmas and new year celebrations due to the raging pandemic, too, cost the industry a lot.
Another report suggested that prices of roses in the domestic market may see a 10-15 percent rise this Valentine's day and people will have to spend a little extra than what they did last year to send a bouquet to their loved ones.
According to Bollapally, the fall in exports this year will, however, ensure the best quality of roses, with large bud size, long stem length and numerous colour shades, remain available to domestic consumers at a marginal price rise.